Preparing for the New Jersey Foreclosure Defense Process
Facing foreclosure can seem insurmountable, but it is important to know that you have rights and options. Your mortgage lender cannot take your home without first taking you to court, where you have the opportunity to defend yourself. An important first step is to contact an attorney. In order to help your attorney defend you, it is important to have your information in order and stay on top of the situation. Here are some helpful foreclosure defense tips to prepare for foreclosure defense process.
1. Do not ignore your mail
Be sure to read any letters or court papers as soon as you receive them, especially ones from your mortgage lender or their attorney. This type of letter often requires action from you and has a short deadline, so ignoring mail can make foreclosure defense much more difficult.
2. Keep track of deadlines
The mail you receive from your lender or their attorney will often contain a response or action deadline. Be sure to keep track and adhere to these deadlines, as missing them will only make the situation worse.
3. Do not fall victim to any foreclosure scams
Since court records are public, some companies try to take advantage of people in the foreclosure process by making them ‘special offers’ that are actually scams. This can include temporarily transferring the deed to someone else, or having your mortgage renegotiated for a fee. Any foreclosure defense advice should come from a New Jersey licensed attorney. Be wary of any companies that are outside New Jersey. If you are not being represented by a NJ attorney, you will be going to Court by yourself.
4. Gather copies of all mortgage documents
The documents you signed at the mortgage closing are very important for your foreclosure defense, as they clearly state the terms of the loan and the amount that you owe. If you cannot find these documents, you are entitled to receive a copy of them by sending a Request for Information. It is also a good idea to keep copies of any related documents, such as mortgage statements, proof of payment, property tax payments, the Truth in Lending disclosure statement, and homeowner’s insurance.
5. Determine how much your home is worth
Contact a realtor and ask for a comparative market analysis of your home. Many realtors will not charge you for this. Once you know the market value of your home, you will be able to make informed decisions about your options, such as selling your home.
6. Assess your finances and budget
Take stock of your assets and decide how much you are able to afford for housing. This will help you when it comes time to make decisions about possible foreclosure alternatives, such as a loan modification.
Contact Ira J. Metrick, Esq. today to discuss your foreclosure defense options.